View Full Version : Events photography

27th of October 2008 (Mon), 15:49
Please forgive my ignorance. I did a quick general search for "event photography" and received a mix of results.

I am looking for some general advice on event photography. I have been asked on a few occasions to take photos at political fundraisers, park dedications, parades, picnics, community/neighborhood gatherings, etc...

I find it very difficult to follow the fast paced nature of everything... an agenda is not always available. These events are sometimes indoors under no lighting and sometimes outside in the mid afternoon under the harshest lighting.

Some event organizers want the group shots and some want the candid shots. Then there are obligatory podium shots. It's very hard to frame candids while also still giving the sense of place and time - which are very important.

I simply don't know how best to balance is all. Advice, please? Sorry, I know this is scattered.

27th of October 2008 (Mon), 16:11
First off demand an agenda ahead of time. Don't fall for the "Oh it will only take an hour or so." You might quote a price and be stuck into twice the time as expected. Any good organized event will be on a time table.

Second, due to the lighting conditions and other factors, make it clear that you want "Full Access" status. You want to be able to move where you need to be and get the angles you need.

If they don't allow you to do your job on your terms, don't do it! You are the "Pro" that's why they want you to do the event. If they think they can tell you what you need and where you need to be, than they can take the pictures.

As far as what type of photos they want, that is the one thing as the client that is their choice...only accept it if you are 100% sure you can do a good job. Word of mouth can make or break you in the photo game.

27th of October 2008 (Mon), 16:27
Actually... I'm the volunteer.

27th of October 2008 (Mon), 16:34
Actually... I'm the volunteer.

Still you want to make the best of your time, and you want your performance to be as professional as possible to ensure you do the best job you can.

Instead of saying you are a volunteer, refer to yourself as an "uncompensated professional". :)

27th of October 2008 (Mon), 18:21
lol... I appreciate the advice. I wouldn't put my skill level on that plane, just yet. Right now, I'm cheap labor.

I suppose what I'm also looking for is whether there are any resources that I can get an idea of what standard type of shots are that I should try to take at each of these things. Does you know of any "event albums" that I could peek at to see what others typically do? I can study wedding albums to get a sense of what photo opportunities people look for. Any books available on event photography?

27th of October 2008 (Mon), 19:49
William B. Folsom and James P. Goodridge have a book coming out soon "Event Photography Handbook" that covers a variety of events. You can preorder it at Amazon for about $30.
Actually they are preordering for $23. Here is the link...

Browse Amazon Photography Books here...

27th of October 2008 (Mon), 22:15
pre-ordered! thanks for that link

28th of October 2008 (Tue), 03:44
good price on the book but does anyone know when it's suppose to be released?

28th of October 2008 (Tue), 04:05
To be honest, get an assistant shooter. This gives you the chance to work away with the presentation/event and your assistant with a long lens walking around for the candids and additional work.

Do not take a job without an agenda regardless how quick or simple it may be.

28th of October 2008 (Tue), 12:45
To clarify - I'm just volunteering for the events taking pictures for no pay. I'm the policy director for a state senator and I'm acting as a volunteer at his fundraisers and other events... we may use some shots in his newsletters and website and we also send out photographs of him and people with messages written on them.

Other events I shoot for are at vietnamese community events. I wish I had an assistant shooter, but I was looking for technique advice.

5th of November 2008 (Wed), 18:47
Hmmmmm - can't say I approve of shooting these events for no pay.

I'm sure the Senator wants to use the images for marketing collateral and media exposure the better the photos used to portray the image the better the fundraisers can be marketed which should result in more money coming in.

It's rather like shooting weddings - when in doubt bring in a pro.

6th of November 2008 (Thu), 00:00
i won't tout my own talent, but the "professional" photographer recommended to us whom we paid for a few years ago was terrible.

6th of November 2008 (Thu), 00:03
Unfortunately "professionals" vary markedly in quality - you need someone who is capable of handling the job.

6th of November 2008 (Thu), 13:04
With all due respect and I appreciate your suggestion, but I'd like to learn it myself.

Anyway, I received the book so thank you for the suggestion, droberts. I won't have time to look through it until the weekend, but flipping through it I think it gives some nice considerations when taking photos at events. I can ignore the marketing chapters because I'm not really interested in making money from my photography at this point.